Dr. Adrianna Nava, PhD, MPA, MSN, RN

Photo of Dr. Adrianna Nava PhD, MPA, MSN, RN
Chief Nurse of Quality and Systems Improvement Edward Hines, Jr. VA HospitalDirector’s Office

About Me:

My first leadership experience was leading the Illinois Hispanic Nurses Association (2011-2013), (now NAHN-Illinois), a small non-profit focused on developing Hispanic nurse leaders. I am very proud of this experience since I entered this position as a novice millennial nurse, yet grew the organization to the 5th largest chapter in the country by 2013. This experience was instrumental to redirecting my clinical nursing career to one focused on health care leadership and policy. My career goal is to create a pathway to leadership for nurses, with an emphasis placed on Hispanic nurses. My first objective is to transition into a research career, where I can shape the direction of nursing education and contribute to building the rigor and visibility of health services research conducted by nurses. My second objective is to broaden my leadership capabilities so I can lead a non-profit health care organization focused on reducing health disparities in under-served communities and shaping health policy as a national leader. In my current role in Quality Management at VA Boston Healthcare System, I co-created the VA Boston Nursing Research Initiative known as DRIVEN (2018), which focuses on developing a practice to research pathway for front-line clinical nurses. I currently serve as the Chief Nurse of Quality at the Hines VA. Within the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), I developed the pilot Nursing Leadership Scholars Program (2015), which focused on building the leadership capabilities of millennial Hispanic nurses, to assume board leadership positions within their community. I believe the nursing workforce has been untapped and there are many opportunities for us to contribute to improving health outcomes nationwide.


I have a Master in Public Administration (May 2020) from the Harvard Kennedy School. I received my Nursing PhD with a concentration in Health Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston in December 2019. In 2012, I received my MSN in Health Leadership with a health policy focus from the University of Pennsylvania and in 2009, I received my BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. My research interests include: healthcare quality and costs, nursing leadership and health disparities.


Since 2009, I have worked within the VA Healthcare System serving the Veterans in various nursing roles including: ICU nurse, Cardiology Research Nurse and Quality Management. My leadership training stems from the following programs: 2019-2020 U.S. Latino Leadership Fellow, 2016-2018 Jonas Nurse Leader, 2015-2016 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, a 2009 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar and an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). Within NAHN, I have served in various leadership roles including: 2011-2013 President of the Illinois Hispanic Nurses Association (IHNA), 2015-2016 Vice-President of the Massachusetts Chapter of NAHN and as a national Board of Director (2014-2016) and Chair of the Membership Committee for NAHN. In 2011, I was awarded the VA Going the Extra Mile Service Award and in 2014 she was awarded the AARP Community Education Service Award for providing Health Reform education to the Hispanic community.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Nurse Leader – Policy and Leadership
Dissertation: The Impact of the 2010 Affordable Care Act on Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Primary Care Access and the Delivery of Diabetes Preventive Care.